BREAKDOWN IN INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS, TERMS & CONDITIONS – SERVEST UK (GWR CONTRACT)

Our Ref: BR1/14/2


7th March 2017

Dear Colleague,

BREAKDOWN IN INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS, TERMS & CONDITIONS – SERVEST UK (GWR CONTRACT)

Further to my previous correspondence dated 9th February 2017, I write to you again to advise you of the latest updates in this matter. You will recall that your union has attended talks under the auspices of ACAS and the following offer has been made:-

•    It has been proposed that all employees not subject to the Living Wage will receive a 1.6% increase effective immediately and a lump sum / backdated payment to 1st April 2016.
•    A further percentage increase to the same employees who are not subject to the Living Wage to be applied on the 1st April 2017 which will be equal to the RPI (as declared at the beginning of March 2017) or 2% whichever is the higher.
•    The same uplift will be applied in April 2018 but any uplift will be capped at the percentage rate for the Outer London Living Wage uplift as declared in November 2017.
•    It has also been proposed that all Supervisors and Team Leaders currently subject to the basic £1 and 50p differential will receive a proportional percentage increase in line with the Living Wage / London Living Wage increase since April 2015. For the benefit of doubt the Living wage has increased by 7.6% and the London Living wage by 6.6% and these increases will be applied to the current £1 and 50p differentials according to the individual’s place of work.
•    This increase will be effective immediately along with and a lump sum / backdated payment to 1st April 2016. The Company will also commit to maintaining the percentage differential for Supervisors and Team Leaders in subsequent years.
•    A proposed change to the date that the Living Wage uplift will be applied. Currently it is set in November each year and implemented across the GWR contract on 1st April the following year. The Company wishes to bring this forward as follows:
•    
    2018: 1st February
    2019: 1st January
    
Pay Frequency

•    The Company intends to undertake a ‘Referendum’ across all workers on the Servest GWR contract to determine the overall preferred pay frequency. The choice will be a monthly pay frequency to be paid on the 9th of each month or a four-weekly pay frequency.

•    For a change to a four-weekly pay frequency to take place, the Referendum will require at least 50% of the workforce to vote in favour of the change. If less than 50% of the workforce vote to change to a four-weekly pay frequency, the current monthly pay frequency will be maintained, albeit that the date will be moved forward to the 9th of each month.

Sick Pay

•    No further proposals.

End to Agency staff

•    Permanent jobs will be offered to all current Agency Staff who have worked on the Servest GWR contract for 12 weeks or longer prior to the date that all current points of dispute are resolved and withdrawn.

•    New employees will begin a permanent contract of employment and be paid at the appropriate Living Wage with statutory entitlements in-line with the standard Servest contract of employment. Individual contracted hours of work will be applied based on the individual’s most recent twelve week average hours of work prior to their contract start date. A three month probation period will be applied to all employees transferring from Agency status to permanent status.

•    The Company reserves the right to continue to hire Agency Staff on occasion to supplement the permanent workforce; however it will commit to consulting with local RMT Representatives to explore alternative solutions which may include directly employing current staff on an Overtime Basis.

April to March Holiday Year

•    A proposal to change the holiday year back to April to March. Employees will be required to use all current accrued holiday by the end of March 2016. It is the responsibility of employees to request and book holiday. Untaken holiday may be lost. An exception will be applied to those who have their holiday requests denied for operational reasons. In this event, employees may carry over up to 5 days accrued holiday which must be taken by 30th April 2017.

•    All other holiday rules apply, in accordance with the Servest Holiday Policy and booking procedure.

Provision of Suitable work wear in line with PPE regulations

•    A review of the PPE requirements across the contract for each role will take place and the outcome will be discussed with the Union Representatives. In particular the review will consider requirements for cold weather uniform including the use of Body warmer and Sweatshirt style tops (subject to agreement with GWR). Furthermore, Servest agrees to commit to a principle of on-going discussion with Union Representatives over any future changes with uniform or PPE which might be considered as work wear

Local Staff Representation across the Contract

•    In addition to the current two reps, five new staff representatives will be elected so that union members will be represented as follows; two from Paddington, two from Old Oak Common, one from The South West Region (to Bristol), one from the West and Central and one from the East Region (to Swindon). The Management will provide a matrix to identify employee numbers at each of the designated represented areas.

•    The Company will work with RMT to facilitate suitable election arrangements and confirm new representatives by 1st May 2017. Some constraints will apply to new staff Representative including the following; must be a permanent employee with at least six months service; not be subject to a live disciplinary process at the time of election; should cooperate with training to become a proficient communicator and achieve training objectives to a satisfactory level.

•    A commitment to reviewing the current Recognition Agreement with a view to updating it in line with current ACAS principle. This process will begin within 3 months of the end of the dispute.

Old Oak Common Collective Grievance

•    Training to be provided to help prevent and deal with Bullying and Harassment in the workplace. Training will be given to relevant managers and workplace representatives.

The offer has been considered by your union’s National Executive Committee (NEC) and it has instructed me to hold a meeting at RMT Head Office to discuss this offer in greater detail. In attendance at this meeting will be myself, your representatives, your Regional Organiser, the NEC and the Senior Assistant General Secretary.

I will keep you advised of further developments.

Yours sincerely

 

Mick Cash
General Secretary